JD teaches us there are four strategic steps to take when asking for a raise:
JD Phillips is a Certified Financial Educator and has spent the last 25 years in the financial services industry helping clients successfully earn retirement income. In addition to that, he's also a master sales trainer and team builder who once built a sales distribution team of over 50,000 representatives. He's a professional speaker and an author, most recently contributing to a national bestselling book called “How Money Works”.
He says, “When faced with a decision, asking yourself “For what?” brings your subconscious out of oblivion. You laser focus on exactly what your next step should be. Once you get your mind right, you can prepare for the next step. When you start thinking about a raise, start with that two-word question “for what?”
“For what?” gets things to an emotional level, gives you direction, and puts you in motion. And if you're asking for more money, you better have a plan in place. You have to justify it to yourself before you can justify it to anyone else... “
And for promotions - “Mindset is where it starts. Begin to think like the person currently in that position. You want to be CEO, start thinking like a CEO. Think like a vice president. Think like an Area Manager. Then when you get ready to vie for that position approach it as they would."
If I'm trying to get a CEO job, you can’t still be thinking like a junior vice president. Mindset, to me, is more than half the battle. And that includes your attitude and ambition. Make moves that put you in a position to ask for the job, the raise, or the next challenge you might be seeking.
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You better have a plan in place, if you want to proceed to ask for more money, that's intentional. It'd be, hey, do you think I can, or maybe you will. No, you want to have a plan and a tactic that you put into place that puts the deck stacking in your favor to get that, yes. And there's a way to do that. It doesn't necessarily mean it works every time, but you want to ask in a way that you're going to get a yes, more times than you get a no.
Welcome to the Raise Up Podcast. We are back again and I'm your host, Amanda LeFever. And we have an incredible guest for today's show. JD Phillips is an entrepreneur who has spent 25 years in the financial services industry, helping clients successfully create and implement savings and retirement income plans. In addition to that, he's also a master sales trainer and team builder who once built a sales distribution team of over 50,000 representatives. He's a professional speaker who has delivered messages of strategy, success, principles, and inspiration to corporate and national audiences throughout the US. Most recently, JD served as a consultant and contributor to a national bestselling book entitled, How Money Works. JD thank you so much for being on the show.
Well, Amanda, thank you. It's my pleasure. And I'm excited to be part of your program. What I've heard about it is nothing but amazing things. So hopefully we can add a tidbit or two.
Yeah, I'm really excited. And first I have to ask before we get started, how are you guys doing? COVID-19 has been rough on a lot of companies. How has your team and your family kind of coping with the shutdowns?
Well, interestingly enough, our team and our business is actually spiked during this time because we are a virtual business now. So being home had it advantages for sure. And as far as the family, we have twins, boy, girl twins. Now we're lucky Amanda, they both look like their mama, so that's a good thing. Number two, they are juniors in college, so they were forced home with the virus and we've been quarantining, and they've been doing their school online here, and now throughout the summer to make up for lost time. But everybody's safe and healthy and we're glad to be all together for a little while. And listen, when they're at home and they're six years old, it's one thing. When you're home, when they're 22 is a whole different thing, we don't carry quite the weight we used to.
It's probably like a whole different dynamic.
Turn the page they say, turn the page.
And interesting too, to be home with mom and dad. Now, do they go to the same school?
They don't, they're diametrically opposite when it comes to school and study. Our son is an accounting major down at Ole Miss down in the deep south, and is loving that entire culture and all that goes with it. Our daughter's in pastoral ministry, she studying at Lee university outside of Cleveland, Tennessee, near Chattanooga. And, they both do their thing, man. And, she's actually going to graduate this year. She's going to do four years of college in three she's anxious to get after it. So we're, we're real happy for her and proud of both of them.
That's amazing. I'm so glad you guys are safe and healthy, and exploring new bonding ways to be a family. Well, as you know, our show is all about someone improving their financial situation, like getting a raise at their job. So, given all that's going on, if a personal friend came to you and said, this is a tough time, but I've earned a raise, I think I've earned a raise at work. How do you recommend I go about making that happen? How else, would you help them?
Well, I would tell you, first of all, you know, things in life that we do, important things in life, I always start with a why. Because if we can get to somebodies why, whether it be a new job, a raise, another position or another step in their relationship, even personally, that gets you to an emotional level. So, the first thing that I would share with somebody, if they said that is okay, well, why do you want it? What are some of the significant reasons to get a raise? And first of all, it really kind of boils down to a little bit of math. If they're working for a corporation, more money and in the form of a raise would mean a larger contribution to their 401k. If they're participating for that at work, because it's always a percentage of your salary.
The second thing is that that's really amazing is it could contribute to their income in such a way they'd have more money to save. And more money to save is important. Not only for raise, from a perspective of more cashflow through what your increase would be, but it also gives you a better way to plan for your future. But when you begin to think about getting a raise, why do you want it and get emotionally charged about the benefits of having it, because that'll put you in the right mindset to begin to formulate your strategy. So, I would tell you always start with your why, and why do you want it, and why is that important? And then develop the strategy from there?
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense because when you're looking at it as just, I want more money, it's really hard to kind of strategize around that. If you have the, I want more money because of this, or I want to be able to do this, I don't know, it lends a different weight to it somehow.
So, you know, Amanda, that brings up a great point that you just reminded me of. I had a mentor long ago, very wise business owner, entrepreneur type. And he sat me down one day, I was struggling with a decision on which way I should go, which step I should take next. And he said, you know, JD there's one thing you should always remember from this day forward, whenever you're faced with a business decision, a choice, or direction you want to take, take the time to sit yourself down and ask yourself the two word question. The two word question is, for what. I'm getting ready to make this decision, for what? I'm going to take this next step, for what? I'm doing this job, for what? And if you'll take the time to do that, what it'll do is it'll bring your subconscious out of oblivion and it'll help you laser focus on exactly what your next step and focus should be. And once you get your mind there, it allows you to make the right preparations for whatever the next step in fact will be. So, I would offer that to all your listeners as, use that tool for yourself. When you get to a situation, in this case, if you're asking for more money, or raise, bump in pay, however you want to refer to it, start with that two word question, for what? And see if it doesn't help you focus.
I like that. And so it's more of a way to uncover and figure out what exactly you're doing this for and why, and then get some clarity? Is that kind of what you're saying?
It will, you'll be amazed. You know, we first talked just a few minutes ago about when you ask yourself why? That gets you to an emotional level, then you ask the question for what? That begins to put you in direction and into motion. And you're exactly right. It's about clarity and intention. If you're asking for more money at whatever level you are, if you're brand new at your job, you've been there a year, or you've been there 10 years, or whatever your number is, you better have a plan in place. If you want to proceed to ask for more money, that's intentional. It'd be, hey, do you think I can, or maybe you will no, you want to have a plan and a tactic that you put into place that puts the deck stacking in your favor to get that yes. And there's a way to do that. It doesn't necessarily mean it works every time, but you want to ask in a way that they're going to get a yes, more times than they get a no.
And so, it sounds kind of like one of our guests before was talking about laying groundwork. And it sounds a little bit like actually doing that. Have you learned any specific ways to kind of gain some groundwork before you have that conversation?
Well, I would have to agree with that. And, and I'm a little bit old school. So, I would tell you that we live in this digital technology age. I mean, look at your podcast here, all the most modern tools and technology to get these messages out. But believe it or not, and we have email, and we all know email, which has now become almost a dinosaur to some extreme by some measure. But yet we're very effective in getting information from point A to point B. But believe it or not, the old fashion, Amanda, written word seems to still carry a whole lot of weight. And I'll often will tell people if you're getting ready to ask your manager, your boss, whoever your supervisor or superior is for your raise. First of all, you want to ask for permission to ask, that's number one. And if I have a review coming up, let's say I have a six month review coming up, or I have a performance review coming up for the year. Prior to that review, I'm might ask you if your my supervisor. Amanda, during this time, can we spend a few minutes talking about my compensation? Because I want to put the idea in your head that that's coming. So, when we're having our review, I'm going to have to sit around wondering, well, gosh, I wonder if this is a good time to bring this up. Once I plant that seed, and you say, well, sure or we can talk about it or whatever the response is. Don't worry about if it's not the response you want, because you haven't given the reason yet. You just telling them, hey, I want to open the door so we can both step in and have that conversation.
Well, then what I often will share with people, believe it or not, you can do this in person, but if you'll take the time and you put your thoughts down on paper and quote, unquote, write a letter to your supervisor, explaining to them why you want what you want, and why it's justified. And you can list certain reasons. You can list certain facts. You can list certain performance results before you ever walk in the door and drop that to them prior to your meeting. Well, guess what happens now? You now know that they know what's on the front of your brain. And when you get up on discussion, it won't be awkward and they may prepare a response that might surprise you. And if not, at least you have set the table so you can have the discussion.
That's true. And so, you go in and you kind of ask permission to ask before. So, you're laying that groundwork there and then actually prepare a letter beforehand to give them, and then they're prepared and not blindsided. Is that kind of, I don't know what the strategy is around that.
Exactly. That's the perfect word. It's a strategy. And the tactic of that strategy is this. First of all, you'll separate yourself. Nobody else is doing it or very few because they won't take the time because you have to thoughtfully prepare the letter and think through. And I made a note here about the letter as you know, what, what would you list? Well, if you write the letter, you're writing it. That means you're in control of what you say, how you want to say it. And you can paint the picture with the exact colors that you want to paint it with. So you're not in there all of a sudden getting a question back from your supervisor. And you're trying to answer on the fly. So you can pick inventory in this letter and you can explain, well, this has happened since my last pay raise. I picked up these skills, I've taken on this leadership role. We had success in this project. I performed X percent over quota, whatever the case may be, you can strategically place it in writing in front of them. Then the supervisor, boss, or whoever might be when they receive that. Well, it gives them a chance to evaluate that. And they may not even remember be aware, understand, but it lets them know exactly where you're coming from. And you're not asking just to ask, you're not asking them because we all know don't ever ask for a raise goes, Hey, Amanda, I need a raise because I need more money. That never works because everybody needs more money. So your reason is remember now, for what? And we're back to the question. Well, the letter helps you identify that very specific answer that's presented to your manager or supervisor before you had that meeting. And when you walk in, everybody knows besides whatever's on their mind. They know exactly what's on your mind.
That's true. So, is the, for what and your why, is that something that you actually share with your manager as well? Or is that not something that's like your own personal awareness?
Well, that's a great question. And I would share it depending on the relationship I have with my boss, supervisor, or if it's appropriate, some of it might be personal and not appropriate in the workplace to even share. Some of it. they may not care about you might have a manager or supervisor that's only interested in black and white facts and figures. And if you hit this number, you get it. If you don't, you don't. Well, trust me, they have no lost love over what your, for what or why is. It doesn't matter to them, but it matters to you. But that's the point. That's why you had that discussion with yourself as you prepare is because you want your mindset to be such that you are justified in asking for what you want. And you're justified because here's one of the mental dilemmas and hurdles that people struggle with when asking for a raise. Sometimes they think, well, maybe I'm not really worth it, this self worth equation in their brain, as well, I'm not as good as so-and-so, or I didn't do as much as you know who. Are all of a sudden, they begin to doubt their worth and their value. That's why you have the discussions with yourself. That's why you take the inventory. And that's why you list the things that are important to prove that you bring more value, which equates to more pay.
And it sounds like it would almost be a confidence booster too.
Oh, there's no question. It's a confidence booster and almost like a television program or a movie, you know, a movie that has a script and the script has been rehearsed and then delivered. Well, you get to focus on delivery because you know the words without rehearsal, you don't know the words. And so you might present a great message in the wrong way. Cause you didn't practice the words. You didn't know exactly what to say or how to it, and you're more focused on what am I going to say next, instead of how am I going to say it? How to presenting will be just as important as the, what to that you present.
Yeah, because I can see too, those conversations, there's a lot of energy. And usually from what I've heard, it's a lot of anxious energy, and people are nervous, and they're reciting it over and over, and they're worrying about what's going to happen. And so, it sounds like all of this really helps not alleviate, or get rid of the worry, but it helps it so, that you feel more confident going in.
Well, you do number one because, the supervisor or boss is not going to be shocked. They already know what you want as part of your review, or part of the conversation where they ask, because you presented it to them ahead of time. And the trick is once you present your value, be very specific. Remember now we're intentional in our tactic, but now we're going to be specific in our ask. You don't want some money. You don't want some more money. You want a number, you want $5,000 more per year. You want 5% more based on your annual pay. Present your ask in the form of a specific number, either by pay period or by year or as a function of percentage, a 10% increase based on all the things that I have validated through my preparation. And if you're specific, then now you've given them why you want it, why you deserve it, what your value is. And oh, by the way, take the time when you do this. If you're at let's say you're $40,000 a year, and you're trying to get to $45,000. Are the people around you that do what you do, whether it's in your company or across the street of the competitor, does their job pay $45,000 for those same skill sets or experience levels. And use the market around you to make sure that you're getting paid, what the market pays. Now, if you can get more for that, well, that would come down to how great of a negotiator you might be. But for sure if I know that the fellow across the street in that cubicle makes 45 and I do what he does plus some well, I'm going to use that information to say, Hey, over at Acme corporation, they pay 45 for what I'm doing, and I'm doing it better, based on these stats and facts. So, using the marketplace to help you evaluate, and then measure your own worth can be a very effective tool.
I love that. So, a little bit of market research to try and figure out exactly what everybody else is getting paid in that position. So, one question that I did want to ask is what if somebody is ready like right now? They feel like they earned it and they're worth it. Do you say, wait until you've laid the groundwork or you charge in there and ask for what you want?
Well, that's going to be what we call a feel thing. If you really feel it, then, you know, certainly I wouldn't ever tell somebody not to go for it. If they really feel they're prepared and ready. I would say this, just because you're ready and you're itching to go, and you want to scratch that itch, doesn't mean they're ready. Think about it. What if you charged into the day after they just got their quarterly returns, and they're down 15% from last year, quarter. And that's the day you picked to run in and drop the bomb on them. That you're the next superstar needed to get paid that way. Well, you might have the greatest pitch in the world, but if it comes at the wrong time, it's not gonna matter what you say. Cause it's gonna fall on deaf ears or one, that somebody might be in a bad mood. So, I wouldn't tell you not to do that. I would just say double check your timing that you don't, you know, go shoot off your best firecracker, and then have nobody there to listen to it pop.
That's true. Oh, I like that. I like that analogy too. That's really good. So, have you had people approach you, and tell you that they were going to ask about their compensation or wanted to talk about it? Have you seen this whole strategy play out before?
Yep. Well, so yeah, I'll answer in two parts. I've never had somebody come to me and been prepped me for that. Now lots of times is causing the type of, or work in industry I've been in. It's never been a salary type position where you're going to give somebody a merit raise. I'll get the calls from a sales side, lots of times there's bonuses, extra commissions. Now lots of times we would get the conversations of, Hey, I'm only so far away from that next level. You know, if I don't quite get it, can I still get the bonus or something like that? I'll get at the compromise conversation, but not from the perspective of the prep. Now I have used it before myself because prior to financial, I spent a few years in the corporate sales world, with IBM and they trained you on how to work in the corporate environment. And they trained you on approaching to ask for raises as you move through the corporate structure. And which quite frankly, that's where I learned the technique of writing the letter.
That's amazing that they would do that training too. I feel like more of them need to.
Well, back in that time, way back then, that was the early on, that was back in the eighties. The corporate America looked a lot different than it does today. You know, not so many people had their corporate jobs and were looking for a side view because they're trying to supplement their income back then. It was you. It was the 20 years get the gold watch and the banner and the stock options. And that's, that was the career. Well, those jobs in this day in time is almost nonexistent that world doesn't exist anymore. But they were really grooming corporate executives at the time, and that was part of the training, not only knowing how to sell and present, but how to function in the marketplace as a sales rep. From how do you travel? How do you run a territory, and also how do you advance into management? So that was probably the training.
Well, you've trained a lot of sales individuals, right? 50,000 sales individuals? And so, a lot of this, do you feel like plays with sales as well? Like you're almost selling yourself when you're going into these conversations?
Well, there's no question that the training that I received coming through both corporately and independently from just some terrific mentors and people that were willing to share with me has been valuable, and in being able to turn and then share that. The trick is when you begin, whether it's training and sales or leadership, the trick is you want to give people information in a way that is relative to them. So, many people will train on what they think is important. And that might be true, but I want to train on what you think is important because that's information you're going to hear and you're going to learn. So, when we do training, we're always finding out from the sales group we're working with or the individual, you know, what is it that you need to know to be better? And that's what we train on. It's not an agenda of, hey, these are the five things you need to know. Then once you know these things, everything's perfect. And here's your training. Ours is okay, that's the basic that sets you on course. Now, what are the things that you need to help with? So, you can get more comfortable because sales training, when it boils down to it at the root level is all about two things, confidence and belief. We can train people to be stronger in those two areas. Then they can go do anything. They can sell anything, they can present anything, and they can share anything.
Do you think that translates to people that are working in corporate America too?
I think to some degree it'll help because you don't get to control your future in corporate America, because it's controlled by the next person ahead of you. You've got to transfer, or somebody has to get fired or pass away or get promoted. And then you get a shot at that slot it's, some of that's kind of scheduled that way. So, no matter how ambitious you might be, no matter how aggressive you might be, sometimes you just gotta wait your turn. However, this whole notion about belief in confidence that has everything to do with, when you do get the opportunity, if you are very confident in what you're doing, and you have a high believability, and what you stand for, or how you perform, then that will put you in a better position to compete for that slot.
This is the first time that I think we've ever really talked about mindset as like a driving force in these conversations. I do remember one guest that touched on it briefly, but do you think that mindset is like a huge factor that someone should be focusing on as well as like preparing and laying all the groundwork?
I think mindset's where it starts. If you began to think like the person that is in the position that you want to be, it's almost like the old "Dress for Success" routine, right? You know, you dress for the job you want, not for the one you got. Well, let's think like a CEO, let's think like a vice president, let's think like an area manager. And when I get ready to vie for that position or that raise, then I'll approach it as they would critically think through that. If I'm trying to get a CEO job, and I'm still thinking like a junior vice president, I'm probably not going to present in the same way that someone that's thinking like that person would present. So, mindsets to me is more than half the battle. And that includes, of course, your attitude, and your ambition. But I believe it has more to do with intentionally making moves that puts you in a position to ask for the job, the raise or the next thing that you might be seeking.
That's amazing. Okay. So I have a question, and I usually ask most of our guests this question. And it's where I'll ask if you have any stories that you might share about getting a raise, someone that you know, or that you actually went through. So, do you have anything, and can you tell us what happened?
Well, there's a lot of things I can tell you. Some you'll laugh at some you won't, but I'll tell you them. I can, we spoke of, and so many times on podcasts, or recordings, or shows you always want to hear, well, let's hear about the success story, how you went from rags to riches or whatever the case might be. Well, I think there's as much lessons than sometimes, and the ones that we don't get. So, if it's okay, I'll tell you about a raise I didn't get it. It has to do with some we spoke of earlier, and that was timing. So, I'm gonna take you back, way back in time. And it was my first paid job ever. And I was only 17 years old at the time. I was still in high school, but I got a job on a radio station as a disc jockey. And it was, I had one show a week. It was for six hours on Sunday morning. It was from six in the morning till 12 noon. It was in Raleigh, North Carolina. And I'll never forget it was WRNC, the rock of Raleigh and, you know, the whole shebang. Well, what was interesting now, I was getting paid back that time, a whopping $2 and 5 cents an hour, which was the minimum wage back in the seventies, which that really dates me. But it's still a funny story. I'm racking up the massive dough, you know, and coming DJ. But what happens is, and that show the first five hours from 6:00 AM to 11, it was just a regular radio show. It was the John Dalton show, every Sunday morning, I think I had like 12 listeners. Mom, and there's a couple of friends around the neighborhood would get up and listen, but we, we had this show and it was just commercial. And you read the news every hour on the weather on the half hour, and you played top 40 music, but the last hour, Amanda, of the show from 11 to 12 was the live Presbyterian church service from the downtown, First Presbyterian church in Raleigh, which was a big church. And that's the old school, all the old Raleigh money and all the old families and the blue bloods that it was, it was the deal. And so, they broadcast their service through the radio station. And you had, at that time, this little intro tape, very much like the intro on your podcast, where it was 15 seconds of recording, and you'd push the button, the recording say, welcome to the church service. We're going to take you there now where the services are just beginning. And at that moment you were trained, if you were running the board at the radio station, you push this little button, it would open up this two way, almost like a two way radio at that time, but it would open up the line and you could hear the sound coming from the church through the channel, which is pumped out over the radio. So, it was called open the line. And we, there was always an audio person at the other end, and they were managing the sound on the church end. And I was, of course, in the station. Well, they always told you to play that tape, that intro tape somewhere between, you know, 3 minutes to 11:00, to the top of the hour. And because the organist, of course, as you know, in a church, traditional church service, they're playing the organ as people come in and sit down, so the music will be playing, but they also told you at any time, if you're on air on a radio station, back then it was still wax records, believe it or not, 45's and the big ones. So, this is really taking us back in time, and they told you to have a record, what they call queued up. Now queued up record was on the turntable and you had to spin it. So, just so you could hear the beginning of the sound. So, as soon as it started playing, the sound would pop. Because on radio, and if you're going to go off the air for any reason, have any quiet time, it has to be either documented, or you have to warn people. Look, this is going to be dead air. Like when they say we're going to have a test of the emergency broadcast system and you play your test, dead air on the radio could signal there's something severely wrong, like some kind of a natural emergency or something. The FCC that monitors that, that's serious, they'll shut a station down. They'll fine the owners and general managers and everybody else to boot. If there's dead air, well I didn't either. So here we are at the church service, the time is 3 minutes to 11:00. I got my record queued up. Now you'll have to pull us up on YouTube sometime and listen to it. But in 1974, which is when this was going on, the number one song on the top 40 charts was a song called, Midnight at the Oasis. And the artist was Maria Muldaur. I have no reason to know that song or that artist, except for the fact of what happened here. So, I play my little tape we're going there, where the services are just beginning and that open up the church line. At that moment, there was nothing, there was no music, there was no organ playing, there was nothing, there was dead air. I knew that was bad with my quick start training there. I said, oh yeah, play your record that's queued up. So, I just reached over there and hit the record and starts playing the song. Then I'd have to put your camel to bed. It's probably not the most appropriate song they're playing in place with church service, but it was music and it wasn't dead air. So, I'm like taking a breath going, okay, one what's going on at the church. And I was getting ready to pick the phone up and call and say what's going on. But then I realized at that same time, I had not turned off the church key. So, the open line, which had nothing coming my way via sound, I was pumping the sound not only over the radio wave into the church and was blaring out in the sanctuary of this church. Well, I didn't have to call the church because the phone lit up and it was the guy at the church going JD, what's that there rock and roll music, you're pumping in this church, cut that off. And so, I panicked and I like when I reached over, I lifted the needle up off the record. And so, I'm like, okay, problem solved. No, because once I pick the needle up off, now, there's no sound coming out over the radio, dead air. Not five seconds later, the red phone rings, think of watching the old TV show, Batman, having the red phone, the red phone went off. And I knew what that was, and that wasn't the guy from the church, that was the owner. And I picked it up because this might be a G-rated podcast. I will not tell you what he said before, what he told me to do, which was get something back on the air right now, and we'll talk about it later. So, when I got a record playing and then the church service started, I then was done for the day. Little did I know that I was getting ready to be done for my career because I had planned on the next day, coming back to the station and asking for my raise, I was trying to get to $2 and 10 cents an hour. And so, I came back down to the station and I walked in and I sat with the manager. I said, and I hadn't written a letter. I didn't tell him what I wanted to do. I just came back down there and said, Hey, sorry about yesterday, t will never happen again, by the way, I wanted to talk to you about maybe bumping my pay to $2.10 or $2.15 an hour. I've been doing this show now for about six months. And he says, we know that I'm really glad you came in, because we've decided to go in a different direction. And it's been nice having you, if we can have your keys, this'll be the end of your employment here at WRNC. So, timing was bad, I didn't think through it, I didn't prep. And I have to say probably at that time, Amanda, I'm not sure a letter would have made any difference.
Oh man. Oh, the end of your radio career. Oh, that's such a bummer. Dead air. The dead air, that stinks so bad. That's a good story. That's a really good story. I liked that a lot. Oh my gosh. Okay. That was awesome. We all know that timing, timing is everything. That is one of the things that we have learned today. So is there anything else that you would like to add to our national conversation about getting a raise?
Well, I'd say two things. Number one, if you're plans for getting a raise, don't come through, and you don't get what you want. The next thing that I would always offer is there's a reason you're asking for a raise is you want more money. We'll consider today, the world that we live in. And we kind of live in the gig economy where people have a side gig, because like this podcast, it's virtual, there's lots of businesses that you can actually own or start yourself and make more money. So, I would offer that to people as they're looking to their future is if I want more money and I can't get that raise, is there anything else I can do? Well, there's many, many options out there to become an entrepreneur. And there's lots of reasons to do that. So, I would just say to your listeners is don't close your ears and don't close your minds to those opportunities. There might be one right around the corner that can help you add a few hundred dollars a month, or maybe, to your paycheck. So, there's sometimes more than one way to skin a cat.
That's true. Can you tell us what you're up to now? That's going to really make an impact on your industry or in your life in the next few years?
Well, I can tell you what our hope is, and our plan, because we had this, "for what," conversation about three years ago, with two buddies of mine. We looked at this national, you know, we have this pandemic now, this unprecedented time, you mentioned COVID. Well, there's also another crisis going on in our country right now, Amanda. And that's the crisis of financial literacy. And in short terms, what we're talking about, there's the mass of American public just doesn't know the basics of how money works, and I'll have to add to that, it's not even their fault, because it's not taught in schools. You know, the schools teach everything else, but that, and there's only 17 States in the entire country that require any type of financial training at the high school level or below. And yet we're the 14th wealthiest country, I mean the number one wealthiest country in the world, but we rank 14th in financial literacy. So, here's the massive problem. If you took the economy out there today and you looked at the population, and we'll round it down to 300 million people, about 80%, make between $30,000 and $90,000 a year, that's just the average incomes of about 80% of our population. People think that it's the wealthy that run the country. It's not the wealthier are wealthy and some have power, but the mass people 240 million of the 300, they make between $30,000 and $90,000 a year. So, here's what happens, if I'm a mid-level manager at, let's say the power company down the street, and I make $60,000 a year as a mid-level manager, a good salary. I have a 401k and a health plan; I've got a great deal. Well, here's the facts. Once I make my deposit into my 401k, if I'm contributing, then I pay my taxes and I'm paying my rent and my mortgage, my car payment, my Verizon bill, some food and clothes to the kids. Well at the end of all that I might have $1, $2or $3 or $300. I could do something with, I don't know what to do, and because I don't know what to do, I typically don't do anything with it. And that means it's usually gets consumed or squandered. Well, that's a problem because the masses are going to get to the end of retirement and they're not going to have enough. So, our thought was, what if we taught people how money works? And so, we got together, and we wrote a book, and I'm going to make sure that, I'll show you my book here on your screen. "How money works, stop being a sucker." And the concept of the book was how can we get this information out, so people can handle it? Well, here was what we did. Most financial books are written on a level that nobody wants to read, it's usually 200 or 300 pages, they're hard cover, you gotta have a computer or slide rule to figure it out, and you don't understand it. So, this book was created and written, by two partners of mine, that we all just kinda brainstormed on. We wrote it on the level of a fifth grader, a 10-year-old could understand this, if they read it. However, an 80-year-old would appreciate it because the concepts Amanda, in the book, talk about the things that the wealthiest people in our country use to become wealthy. We also talk about the gross injustices done to us by the financial institutions like for banks. And I'll give you a really quick story. If you go to a bank today, and you walk in there to deposit some money into your savings account, you'll notice that the banks are paying a little bit less than most of the time, 1%. Well, we talk about in our book about how this works. Well at 0.09%, guess how long it takes for a dollar to turn to $2? 800 year, 800 years. But yet you've been to a bank and they'll loan out money at 17% on the credit card, or 4% in a CD. And so, I mean interest on an equity line. So, the point is you're going to double over eight lifetimes and they're going to double every four to 17 years on your money, but yet we still give it to them. Well, guess what sits up in the little teller window, right beside the place where you slide the money through, there's usually a little dish in there. It's got candy in it and it's suckers in them, because they're telling you what they're doing to you right there in terms of the banks. I won't mention the one that I go to often by name, but I'll tell you this, they're so aggressive, there's not just suckers. Guess what kind of suckers are in the little dish? Ah, the dumb, dumb. So, they're telling us what they're doing to us, and we still give them our money. And if people just knew that there was a way that they could become their own bank, they could do what the banks do for themselves. Then now we're making a difference, and that's what we want to do. So, the "How money works," book is all about teaching people, how to do that, how to understand the basics and change your life financially. And we do two things with our company. We teach people those secrets, which the bank won't teach them so, they can use it for their own benefit. We also teach people how to be entrepreneurs.
So, what if you wanted to be in that industry, and being a financial world, which is the biggest one on the planet. It's bigger than retail and real estate put together times two, and make a living, helping other people understand how money works. So, that's what's going on, and we're excited about it. And for any of your listeners that would like, we'd be more than happy. You can go to Amazon and buy our book. We're proud to say that since December we've sold almost, almost 450,000 copies just in the past six months and we've been on national TV with the book and you can buy it on Amazon. But if you'd like for your listeners that want to reach out to you, or you can have them contact me, we will send them a book, compliments of the "Raise Up Podcast" because we think what you're doing is a great idea.
So, thank you so much. So, what we'll do is we'll put that in the show notes. If you just let me know where they can contact you? What's the best way to get in touch with you so that people can, can get their book?
I'll do it as a matter of fact, we'll, we'll them contact to our general website and they can click here. We'll send them a book and they can learn the secret so they can go in and not be a sucker.
I love that. Not a dumb, dumb either. That's awesome. Well, JD, thank you so much for being on the show. This has been incredible, and you were so insightful. I really appreciate it.
Well, this has been fun for me and I do appreciate you taking me back in time, and having me go down the DJ road one more time. And the story is old, but it doesn't ever get old to remember.
Memory lane. And we learned a lot about dead air and timing for sure. Awesome. Well, thank you so much. And thank you guys for listening. If you enjoyed the podcast, you can subscribe, you can share with your friends, you can click the share button and take a screenshot and share it on your social stories and tag me at Amanda LeFever. Thanks again for listening. And thanks again. JD, I'll talk to you guys soon. Bye.